Kyle Roun had the upstart Florida Lions on the comeback against a precise Miami Saints side in Game One of the Major League Footy Showdown Carnival, September 15 in St.. Petersburg. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Neil Cohen led the visiting Miami Saints to a convincing victory over the Florida Lions Saturday, as the Saints ran out 7.2.44 – 2.4.16 winners in Game One of the MLF Showdown Carnival in St. Petersburg.

With an electrifying start, the Saints jumped out to a 4.2.26 – 0.1.1 advantage at the break, with Cohen and fellow American footy veteran Tom Hecker leading a precision-based attack that pinned back the young Lions from the first tap.


American footy vet Tom Hecker spearheaded an attack that saw Miami jump out to a quick four-goal margin over the Florida Lions, Saturday in St. Petersburg. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

The Lions were able to mount a counter-punch in the early going of the second frame, notching the first nine points in the half, before Miami regained their footing, returning to their devastating possession game.

Miami would score the final three majors of the match in securing the 28-point win. That win saw Miami improve to 4-1, entering a highly-anticipated Game Two clash with the St. Petersburg Swans.

In knocking off the Leos, the Saints secured a season sweep of the Lions, Clearwater Kangas and Starfish FC, with their only loss a 66-11 setback to the Swans in the MLF season opener, April 14 at Largo Sports Complex in Largo, Florida.

The Saints avenged that loss with a resounding rout of St. Petersburg, June 23 at Croissant Park in Ft. Lauderdale, a 100-49 Saints win.

The result dropped the Lions to 4-3 (16 points), seeing them needing a Game 3 win to stay alive in the hunt for an MLF Championship Finals berth.

The Lions, winners of four on the trot entering the Showdown Carnival, benefited from an injection of new talent taking the ground – a development that bodes well for the competition’s newest side.


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